TXTmob is a service, similar to
electronic mailing lists, that lets you share mobile phoneSMS text messages with both friends and total strangers. You can sign up to send and receive messages to and from various groups, which are organized around a range of different topics.
How the Service Works
The TXTMob service will forward messages received to all members of a particular group as they are received. In an unmoderated group, any group member can send a text message to be received by all other members of that group. Groups can also be moderated, in which case the group is set up as a sort of announcement-only group, which is used primarily as a one-way conduit of information and text messages can only be sent by selected people (often just that group's particular administrator).
Private, Public, and Secret TXTMob Groups
A public group is one which any TXTMob member may join. Membership in a private group is limited by the group's administrators. When an individual first attempts to join a private group, his or her membership will be listed as "pending." Once an administrator of the group upgrades their membership, they will be able to receive messages, and depending on if the group is moderated or not, send messages. Secret groups are similar to private groups in that membership is restricted by the group's administrators. However, membership in secret groups is by invitation only; secret groups do not appear in group directories and uninvited members are unable to sign up for "pending memberships".
Development of the Service
TXTMob was first developed by the
Institute for Applied Autonomyfor protesters at the Democratic National Conventionin Bostonand the Republican National Conventionin New York. Tad Hirsch, a researcher in MIT's Smart Cities Group, continues to offer TXTmob as a free service to the general public and is currently coordinating a major software upgrade. If you wish to help with development or are interested in adapting the TXTMob technology for your organization or event, contact information is available on the TXTMob website (see external links below).
The New York Timesreports [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/nyregion/30text.html?ex=1364616000&en=aba124f5b62dae3c&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink City Subpoenas Creator of Text Messaging Code] , Colin Moynihan, New York Times, March 30, 2008] that Tad Hirsch, creator of TXTMob, is the subject of a subpoena by the City of New Yorkin connection with several active lawsuits against the City that allege police misconduct during the 2004 Republican National Convention. David Rankin (Law Office of David B. Rankin) is providing legal representation.
* [http://www.txtmob.com TXTMob] - official website
* [http://www.appliedautonomy.com Institute for Applied Autonomy] — developers' website
* [http://sourceforge.net/projects/txtmob TXTMob @ Sourceforge] - code
* [http://makesomethinghappen.net/2008/06/06/tad-hirsch-gets-txtual-about-getting-subpoenaed/ Interview with Tad Hirsch] - Hirsch discusses subpoena
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